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Social learning may lead to population level conformity without individual level frequency bias
Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication, Educational Sciences and Mathematics. Stockholm Univ, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7164-0924
Stockholm Univ, Stockholm, Sweden.
Stockholm Univ, Stockholm, Sweden.
2017 (English)In: Scientific Reports, ISSN 2045-2322, E-ISSN 2045-2322, Vol. 7, article id 17341Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A requirement of culture, whether animal or human, is some degree of conformity of behavior within populations. Researchers of gene-culture coevolution have suggested that population level conformity may result from frequency-biased social learning: individuals sampling multiple role models and preferentially adopting the majority behavior in the sample. When learning from a single role model, frequency-bias is not possible. We show why a population-level trend, either conformist or anticonformist, may nonetheless be almost inevitable in a population of individuals that learn through social enhancement, that is, using observations of others' behavior to update their own probability of using a behavior in the future. The exact specification of individuals' updating rule determines the direction of the trend. These results offer a new interpretation of previous findings from simulations of social enhancement in combination with reinforcement learning, and demonstrate how results of dynamical models may strongly depend on seemingly innocuous choices of model specifications, and how important it is to obtain empirical data on which to base such choices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP , 2017. Vol. 7, article id 17341
National Category
Evolutionary Biology Probability Theory and Statistics
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URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37604DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-17826-9ISI: 000417570500060PubMedID: 29230064OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-37604DiVA, id: diva2:1169566
Available from: 2017-12-28 Created: 2017-12-28 Last updated: 2017-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Kimmo

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